Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Italian Man Accused of Killing Prostitute, Writing Story About It

Daniele Piampaschet. Police photo.

Italian police have arrested aspiring writer Daniele Piampaschet, 34, for allegedly killing 19-year-old Nigerian prostitute Anthonia Egbuna in the same way as a murder portrayed in one of his stories.

According to Italian police, Piampaschet was obsessed with the young prostitute, whose body was recovered from the River Po in February. He first became involved with Egbuna in February of 2011, and gradually succumbed to jealousy and rage when she continued to work as a prostitute, police say. The relationship ended in August, but the police say he continued his obsession with her, which culminated in him stabbing her to death in November and then dumping her body in the nearby river.

Piampaschet became a person of interest when they found a short story entitled “The Rose and the Lion” in Egbuna’s apartment. The story is about a young man who falls in love with a prostitute, whom he tries to convince to stop plying her sordid trade. But when she ignores his pleas and spurns him by continuing to see clients whom the author describes as “dirtier and dirtier” he strangles her before committing suicide.

According to the police, Piampaschet wrote the story and sent it to Egbuna to intimate her, The Telegraph reported. Other evidence police are using against Piampaschet includes records of over a thousand phone conversations Piampaschet had with the murder victim. He was also near her home and where her body was found in the River Po when he called her for the last time, according to The Telegraph.

Anthonia Egbuna. Police photo.

But in a legal system rampant with prosecutorial and police misconduct that became well publicized during the Amanda Knox trial, Piampaschet maintains that his only fault was falling in love with the wrong person. His short story is a fictitious account that portrays what could have easily happened to any young women who works in a dangerous profession.

Piampaschet’s attorney says he sent the story to the Egbuna to impress her, according to Reuters. Piampaschet’s infatuation with the the young woman’s plight in the fictitious story is also a byproduct of his infatuation with African, and in particular, Nigerian culture, his attorney says.

Piampaschet also maintains that his relationship with Egbuna ended after he began seeing another Nigerian woman in August. However, Piampaschet admits to keeping in touch with the victim by phone during the months leading up to her murder.

The murder saga reflects the plotline in the film “Basic Instinct.” A writer in the film, played by Sharon Stone, is accused of murdering her lover with an ice pick, a killing described in a novel she wrote.

In a true life case, Polish author Krystian Bala was arrested after publishing a novel that described a series of events that were very similar to those leading up to the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski, a businessman who Bala believed was having an affair with his wife. The police found that the book’s plot revealed details about the murder that only the killer could have known. Bala’s lost his case on appeal in 2008 and was sentenced to 25 years in a Polish prison.

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